The government has set a target to produce 4,500 tonnes of jute seed in the next five years, aiming to make the country self-sufficient in such seeds, Agri Minister Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque said Thursday in a discussion.
He said a project has been undertaken involving the agri ministry, textile and jute ministry and other concerned stakeholders to make the country self-sufficient in jute seed.
The project will be implemented over five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26 fiscal year.
The disclosure was made at a view exchange meeting on ‘Implementing the roadmap to make the country self-sufficient in high yielding jute seeds’, held at the secretariat.
The agri ministry organised the meeting.
A total of 8,780 hectares of land will be purchased for jute seed farming, said the minister.
The minister informed that local farmers need 5,215 tonnes of jute seed annually, of which 775 tonnes are supplied by Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC).
The country imports 85 per cent of Tossa Jute seed from neighbouring India to cater to the demand.
However, with the completion of the project, a total of 4,500 tonnes of Tossa variety seed will be produced by the local farmers, he said, adding the country has successfully decoded the genome sequence of jute which helped the government organisation to develop new HYV jute variety, such Rabi-1 (Tossa Jute -8).
The production of Rabi-1 is some 10-15 per cent higher than that of existing Tossa varieties, he said.
Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi said the production of jute seed should be increased by giving farmers necessary incentives.
He said dependence on other countries for jute seed is a great concern as such nations could slap ban on export anytime.
Bangladesh is the second highest producer of raw jute and the largest exporter of jute and jute products in the world.
The country's jute output is above 1.4 million tonnes (8.0 million bales) annually.
Agri secretary Md Mesbahul Islam moderated the discussion while Bangladesh Krishi Bank Chairman Md Nasiruzzaman, textile and jute secretary Mohammad Lokman Hossain Mian spoke among others.